Shante Evans is the face of Hofstra's women's basketball
LOIS ELFMAN Special to the AmNews | 1/26/2012, 2:25 p.m.
"She has been the program changer. She has been the face of the program. She has been the one who has allowed us to be where we are today," said Hofstra women's basketball coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey about junior forward Shante Evans.
"Shante is the one who has allowed us to recruit quality players to Hofstra because of what she has done," she added.
One of the most notable accomplishments Evans achieved was being named an Associated Press All-America honorable mention in 2011, the first in program history. She was also selected by USA Basketball to play at the Pan Am Games last October.
"I learned a lot and came back a smarter player and I think a better player from that experience," said Evans, who particularly enjoyed working with former University of Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan, an assistant coach at the Pan Am Games. "She taught me a lot-defensively and offensively-what to work on to become better."
Evans, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) first team in 2011, came into this college season strong and focused. She's averaging a double-double-18 points and 10.4 rebounds per game overall and 19.6 points and 10.7 rebounds in conference play. She's been a consistent and determined leader who encourages her teammates to step up.
"We have great team chemistry," Evans said. "There are no fights. Off the court we're friends and hang out all the time. It definitely helps coming onto the court. We distribute the ball. There are a lot of people on the team who can score."
Two other Pride players, Katelyn Loper and Nicole Capurso, are also scoring in double figures. "Our offense is predicated on sharing the ball," said Kilburn-Steveskey, who notched her 100th career victory with Hofstra's win over Northeastern on Sunday.
"Night after night, Shante is obviously getting hers relatively consistently, but it also opens up where we can run certain hits through our guards. When you're playing unselfish basketball, you work on getting the ball to the ones who have the hot hand."
The goal for this season is to win a CAA Championship and go to the NCAA Tournament. "That's been our team goal from the beginning of the year," said Evans. "It's what we work and strive for this year."
The Pride is currently 14-4 and ranked No. 2 in the AmNews Top 10 poll. They're on the road tonight at Delaware and Sunday at Drexel.